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Kaspersky Lab report mass infection of Russian information resources

November 09, 2012, 7:42 UTC+3

Websites of several popular Russian mass media have been attacked, including Vesti TV channel and the Interfax news agency, the portal

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MOSCOW, November 9 (Itar-Tass) —— Kaspersky Laboratory analysts have registered a mass and purposeful attack on major information resources in the Russian segment of the Internet known as Runet.

Websites of several popular Russian mass media have been attacked, including Vesti TV channel and the Interfax news agency, the portal, the Vzglyad and online media.

Kaspersky Lab says their websites contained a malicious code that redirected users to a dangerous Internet domain for the purpose of stealing their confidential data.

Each day, about 1,500 users faced the risk of infection. “Hacked information resources were detected at the end of October 2012. Malefactors systematically infected the same sites for a short time from 30 to 90 minutes in the middle of the day in order to remain undetected by web portal administrators as long as possible,” it said.

During an attack, hackers implanted the well-known Lurk malware programmed to steal passwords from users’ computer. “This is not the first time we see a purposeful infection of large Internet resources. Such attacks are a convenient way to make a large number of people potential victims of infection,” Kaspersky Lab anti-virus expert Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky said.

Now the managers of the infected Internet resources have taken appropriate measures.

Kaspersky Lab also said that 23 percent of users are running old or outdated web browsers, creating huge gaps in online security

Research reveals that when a new version of a browser is released, it takes more than a month for most users to make the upgrade.

Another important discovery of the survey is which particular versions of browsers are most frequently used by Kaspersky Lab customers. The company’s statistics show that 23 percent of users have not installed the latest version of their browser of choice. Of these 23 percent, almost two-thirds (14.5 percent) have the previous version of a browser, and the remaining 8.5 percent use obsolete versions. That means nearly 1 out of every 10 Internet users is using a woefully outdated web browser to check bank accounts and other personal information.

This survey of consumer activity clearly shows that while the majority of Internet users are diligently updating their web browsers in a timely fashion, there are still tens of millions of users that expose themselves by not updating these crucial applications.

Andrei Yefremov, Director of Whitelisting and Cloud Infrastructure Research at Kaspersky Lab, said: “Our new research paints an alarming picture. While most users make a switch to the most recent browser within a month of the update, there will still be around a quarter of users who have not made the transition. That means millions of potentially vulnerable machines, constantly attacked using new and well-known web-born threats. This is strong evidence of the urgent need for proper security software which is able to react to new threats in a matter of minutes, not days or even weeks.”

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